- In 1921 Pop “Mr. Golf” Rutherford carved Penn State’s first nine-hole golf course out of a cornfield
o Over the next 27 years, Rutherford coached Nittany Lion golfers to four undefeated seasons and their first
Intercollegiate Golf Association championship.
o Pop Rutherford’s teams posted a 105-46-6 record from 1922 to 1949. The 1948 squad won the EIGA title
o Penn State’s 1923 team posted an impressive 7-1 record, losing only to Princeton
o Robert Rutherford, Jr., coached the Lions to undefeated seasons in 1953 and 1955 and a 50-13 record. Grandson Bob
lettered on the 1959-61 squads
- Lou Riggs shot a birdie on the last hole and the Lions won 4-3 over unbeaten Navy. The team placed second behind Yale at the Eastern championships
- 1965- Coach Mimi Ryan introduces the women to golf. They will go on to capture two straight Eastern AIAW titles
in 1970 and 1971
- Sophomore Kevin Foley made the final round cut and earned honorable-mention All-American honors after leading the
Nittany Lions in just the program’s third NCAA Championships appearance of the modern era.
- Coach Mary Kennedy-Zierke coached men and women teams in the 1980s and early 1990s. She was the only coach
to lead both squads. Men won Eastern titles in 1987, 1988 and 1992. Women claimed the Eastern crown in 1990.
- Greg Nye guided the Nittany Lions into Big Ten competition. Dirk Ayers won All-Big Ten honors and Matt Abbott,
Adam Decker and Mark Leon were All-Americans. IN 2004, Leon set a 72-hole team record at the NCAA championship
with a 279 score.
- Under Coach Denise St. Pierre, the women won 16 tournaments from 1992 through 2005 led by All-Big Ten performer
Sherri McDonald and All-Americans Laura Hammond and Katie Futcher.
- In 1997, Adam Decker won the Eastern Championships and was NCAA District II Player of the Year. In 1996, he earned
honorable mention All-American.
- Laura Hammond was All-Big Ten in 1996 and won the ECAC Championship in 1998.
- Making Penn State History, Jason Tyska qualified for the U.S. Open in 1999 at Pinehurst Country Club and finished 53 rd.
He was the first Nittany Lion to compete in the Open since Dan O’Neill in 1972.
- In the 1920s, Coach Robert Rutherford Sr. enlisted fame golf designer Willie Park to lay out Penn State’s first
- Penn State dedicated the 18-hole White golf course by defeating Lafayette College, 5-1, in 1926
- James Bunting led the Lions to their first undefeated season in 1927 by placing first in all but one of Penn State’s
- Sophomore Michael Carter was on the verge of an outstanding Penn State career when he died in a car accident
in 2002. The Carter family and the Golf Coaches Association of America established a new award in his honor as part of
the Palmer Cup, collegiate golf’s version of the Ryder Cup. The award will go to the golfer who “best represents the
spirit” of Michael.
- Coach Joe Boyle was inducted into the GCAA Hall of Fame in the 1980s after coaching the Nittany Lions to
a 197-38-1 mark from 1957-82. Boyle’s teams won several Eastern Championships, eleven IUP Invitationals, and
four Nittany Lion Invitationals.
- Lion women claimed Eastern AIAW team championships in 1970, ’71, ’73, ’75, and ’78. Andrea Dutcher (’71) and
Renie Kelleher (’77-78) captured individual titles.
- Coach Robert “Pop” Rutherford made his own brand of golf clubs. Featured clubs include a driver, brassie wood,
#1 driving iron, and a putter
- In 1979, Gary Durbin’s three-round 216 set a Rutherford Intercollegiate Tournament record that stood for six years.
Durbin finished the season earning GCAA honorable mention All-American
- Coach Annette Thompson guided Lion women on the links from 1971-1980. Her teams won EAIAW titles in 1973,
’75, ’76, and ’78.
- In 1978, Renie Kelleher, Judy Mitchell, and Lynne Marriott swept the top three spots.
- Coach Greg Nye lead the men’s golf team to win 38 titles in his first 9 seasons from 1992-2001. His 1996 squad
became the first District I or II team to reach the NCAA Finals
- Golfter Sherm Hostetter took the top spot in 1975 at the Nittany lion Invitational with a 226 which helped carry
Penn State to his team title
o Hostetter earned honorable mention GCAA All-American.
- “The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) is the professional association of men’s golf coaches.
Established in 1958, this non-profit organization is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing its
members who participate in men’s golf at all levels. Through its established events and programs, the GCAA
maintains a goal of increasing awareness and the status of men’s golf.”
- Sherri McDonald qualified for the U.S Open and U.S amateur national tournaments in 1992 and earned All-Big Ten
honors in 1994
- Drivers, Irons, and Putters
o Golfers choose specific clubs for specific shots- drivers or woods to hit the ball 200 yards or more/ Irons for
intermediate shots: Numbers on irons indicate the angle of their heads- A No.1 iron has an upright head for driving the
ball and A No. 9 iron enables golfers to loft the ball
o In tall grass or sand traps, golfers use pitching or sand wedges and the heads of these clubs have acute angles that
helps golfers loft balls without hitting them too far
o On the green, golfers use their putters. They are usually manufactured in a great variety of styles
- Coach Joe Boyle’s teams won seven EIAC championships from 1963 to 1973- Bill Davidson won the tournament
in 1958. Five Lion men followed his lead, including Dan O’Neill
- A year later in 1959, Bill Davison earned third team GCAA All-American
- Dan O’Neill won consecutive Eastern Championships in 1972 and 1973, and became the first Lion to compete
in the U.S. Open in 1972. The four-time GCAA All-American shot a personal best 68 at the IUP Invitational in 1971
- Coach Annette Thompson led the Lady Lion golfers and the team earned three more of EAIAW in 1971, 1973
- Renie Kelleher paced the Lion women in the late 1970s with three Eastern championships